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Phinney open to joining Armstrong as a stagiaire

By:
Daniel Benson
Published:
June 02, 2010, 10:48 BST,
Updated:
June 02, 2010, 12:14 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Taylor Phinney is back to racing in the Tour of the Gila.

Taylor Phinney is back to racing in the Tour of the Gila.

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Taylor Phinney could move up from Trek-Livestrong in August

Taylor Phinney has said that he could ride as a stagiaire for Lance Armstrong’s Radioshack later this season. Phinney, who won his second successive Under 23 Paris-Roubaix title last weekend, is currently under contract with Trek-Livestrong, a feeder team for Radioshack.

Phinney had the option of turning professional at the end of last year with Radioshack, but declined on the grounds that he wanted to spend another season developing his road skills. Radioshack does have first refusal on him when he eventually decides to step up the top ranks, however.

“There’s potential to be a stagiaire later on in the season. I’ve got a couple of races with Trek Livestrong coming up and then nationals at the end of the month but after July in August and September, it’s still up for grabs,” Phinney told Cyclingnews.

The American has already talked with the team staff about the possible timing of the move but a race programme has not been decided on. “I’ve talked a bit to Dirk Demol and Radioshack and I think that being a stagiaire is a potential but it’s not something that I’ve confirmed yet. It’s available if I want it.”

Rumours had been circulating that Phinney could ride the Tour de France this year. However the American dismissed the speculation. “I don’t think that’s even possible. Even if you’re stagiaire I don’t think you can ride the big races. I’d also consider myself too young and delicate for the Tour de France. That’s not even a possibility. It would be a little bit above and beyond at this moment in time.”

Phinney endured a mixed 2009 in his first season with Trek-Livestrong. After securing his world track pursuit title and first Roubaix win he crashed heavily in the Cascade Classic, effectively ending his season.

In 2010 he has already repeated his track and Paris-Roubaix wins in addition to claiming four stages and the overall classification at the recent Olympia’s Tour and a stage in the Tour of Gila.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the best form of my life,” Phinney was quick to add.

“Mentally I’m in a good place. Form and fitness are interesting things and so much is mental. I’ve very confident in my ability but I wouldn’t say I have the form of my life. I’m too new to the sport to know what true peaking is like.”

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